In case you are a WhatsApp user (who isn’t?) and have not yet heard of the new version of the popular messaging app which now lets you make free calls on top of sending texts, we will have to assume you have been living in a hole somewhere for the past few weeks.
WhatsApp, now owned by Facebook, put out a trial version earlier this year though this was done in a predictable hush-hush manner with only a privileged few invited to join the fray. The version must have impressed the developers seeing now that the app has been rolled out for all users, across multiple smartphone platforms.
Which is the Latest Version of WhatsApp with Free Calls Feature
If you are an Android user, then the version you need is WhatsApp 2.12.87 while those running it on the iPhone need to download WhatsApp 2.12.2. For Windows Phone you need to upgrade to WhatsApp
How to Upgrade to the Latest Version of WhatsApp
With the latest version of WhatsApp, you can now call any of your phone contacts provided they also have the app on their phones and a working data plan. This does not matter what platform they are on, that is to say an Android user can call an iPhone, Windows Phone or BlackBerry user and vice versa. You can download the app either from your official apps store or from the WhatsApp website (www.whatsapp.com).
An APK file of the app is also available on a number of trusted mirror sites. Installing an APK file has a number of advantages over and above downloading the source file on the official app stores. These include giving you latitude on the installation settings as well as how often you need to run upgrades.
WhatsApp Call Feature and Tablet Devices
While it is encouraging that you can now call your WhatsApp contacts, one of the most debilitating setbacks about WhatsApp still remain. The company still restricts uses on devices with a mobile network connectivity. Your WhatsApp account is still associated firmly with your mobile phone number. That means if your tablet device cannot take a SIM/ USIM card, it will not be possible to install and use the new version or enjoy the convenience of making data calls.
Installing WhatsApp With Free Calls
Immediately after WhatsApp started beta testing the new calls feature earlier this year, a lot of offers for the call feature hack came up online. Today you do not have to use these roundabout routes to enjoy free calls. Just install the official app and the feature is automatic. In some ways, the new interface is not much different from the preceding editions.
You still have a “Chats” and “Contacts” tab but there is an additional “Calls” tab to the left where there is a record of all recent calls. When you view any of your contacts, there is an additional “Call” button. This is different from the earlier version where you had to be redirected to your phone’s native calling tool. The data call will take place in the WhatsApp interface and you can terminate it and continue enjoying the rest of WhatsApp as usual.